The Iran-led ‘axis of resistance’ is gearing up outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

The Iran-led ‘axis of resistance’ is gearing up for a Ramadan terror offensive

Israel, too, is seriously preparing for a scenario exceeding in scope the military conflict with Gaza in May 2021.

(March 19, 2023 / JNS) Sometime on March 11 or 12, a terrorist infiltrated in Israel from Lebanon, and planted a sophisticated bomb near the Megiddo Junction, some 37 miles south of the Israel-Lebanon border. The bomb detonated on March 13, seriously wounding Israeli Arab Shareef ad-Din, 21, as he drove along Highway 65.

The incident marks major intelligence and operational failures on the part of the Israel Defense Forces. The political echelon should have ordered a military response; its failure to do so further erodes Israel’s deterrence.

It is believed that the terrorist was a Palestinian member of Hamas in southern Lebanon who was trained by Hezbollah to operate the shaped charge. Hamas recruits in the Tyre and Sidon refugee camps.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah knew about and approved the joint operation with Hamas, which left no fingerprints and for which neither organizations has taken responsibility.

According to intelligence data from various sources, Israeli security officials believe that in the runup to Ramadan there will be an unprecedented conflict with the Palestinian terrorist factions on several fronts, that may deteriorate into a military conflict more acute than the conflict in the Gaza Strip in May 2021.

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Visible signs also testify to this: The Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad organizations have increased the incitement against Israel in recent weeks, and launched a campaign of psychological warfare to weaken Israel morale.

Saleh al-Arouri, the vice chairman of the Hamas movement and head of its military wing in the West Bank, the man who coordinates in Beirut the activity with Hezbollah, said in an interview by the official Hamas website on March 14, 2023, that the events to come will be very difficult for the “occupation and its settlers.” The “resistance” in the West Bank is in a state of escalation, and it is diversifying its weapons.

Marwan Issa, the shadowy deputy commander of Hamas’s military wing in the Gaza Strip, hinted at the possibility of massive rocket fire from the Gaza Strip towards Israel. He told the Al-Aqsa channel on March 15, 2023, that the “political project in the West Bank has ended; the enemy brought the Oslo Accords to an end; and the coming days will be eventful.”

Issa continued: A political solution in the West Bank “is a thing of the past…. Any escalation in the Al-Aqsa Mosque area will result in a reaction in the Gaza Strip; Hamas in Gaza will not [just] be an observer to events in Jerusalem.”

“The desire to commit suicide among the [Muslim] residents of the West Bank is unprecedented, and the state of resistance in the West Bank is excellent. So is the state of national unity in the face of the occupation,” the Hamas official claimed.

A spokesman for the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad threatened Israel with a new intifada and an unprecedented conflict.

The accumulation of these statements by the heads of terrorist organizations in the media, in combination with intelligence information, indicate an impending escalation. The security summit in Aqaba on Feb. 26 initiated by the United States has failed, and the fate of the next meeting, scheduled to take place in Sinai on March 19, is uncertain. It is very doubtful whether Israel will be able to stop the approaching tsunami of terrorism, since this is a strategic decision by the terrorist organizations in coordination with Iran.

The terrorist cells are showing an increased use of explosive devices in Judea and Samaria, and are attempting to activate them within Israel proper as well. The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) has recently foiled several attempted bombings by Palestinians from Judea and Samaria who were recruited by Hamas from the Gaza Strip through social networks.

According to Hamas officials, the attack on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv on March 9, 2023 marks the organization’s decision to resume attacks within the Green Line.

According to security sources, Hezbollah Secretary-General Nasrallah increased his coordination meetings in Beirut’s al-Dahiya neighborhood with PIJ secretary general Ziad al-Nakhala and Hamas military chief Saleh al-Arouri, toward the beginning of Ramadan. An agreement was reportedly reached between Hezbollah, Hamas, PIJ00 and the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to step up terrorist activities in the coming days.

Nasrallah said last week that Israel would collapse even before it marks the 80th year of its founding. The internal dispute in Israel and the wave of protests over the government’s judicial reform have increased the feeling among the terrorist organizations that Israel is on the verge of disintegration and that this is the time to increase the pressure.

Despite the hoopla at the time, the agreement regarding the division of Lebanon’s economic territorial waters designed by the United States, signed on October 27, 2022, did not reduce Hezbollah’s motivation for terrorism against Israel. Moreover, it allows Hamas to strengthen its military infrastructure in southern Lebanon and in the refugee camps in Tyre and Sidon.

Hamas officials say that the attacks on Israel in the coming days will be from all directions according to the doctrine of unification of the fronts, including rocket fire from southern Lebanon and infiltration operations from southern Lebanon into Israeli territory.

According to security officials in Israel, behind all this malevolent activity is Iran, which in the past year has smuggled arms and funds through Jordan to the northern West Bank into the hands of the terrorist organizations.

The axis of resistance led by Iran is preparing for a major escalation in the month of Ramadan. Israel is also seriously preparing for a scenario that may be bigger than the military conflict that took place in May 2021.

Yoni Ben Menachem, a veteran Arab affairs and diplomatic commentator for Israeli radio and television, is a senior Middle East analyst at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He served as director general and chief editor of the Israel Broadcasting Authority.

Originally published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Rocket launched from outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

 Streaks of light are seen from Ashkelon as the Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from the Gaza Strip toward Israel on August 5. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

Rocket launched from Gaza after Hamas vows revenge for slain terrorists

Rocket fire comes just two days after two commanders of Islamic Jihad and Hamas were killed in clashes with Israeli forces in Jenin.

A rocket fell in an open area in southern Israel on Saturday evening, setting off sirens in Nahal Oz near the Gaza Strip.

The rocket fire comes just two days after two commanders of local branches of the Islamic Jihad and Hamas terrorist groups in Jenin were killed in clashes with Israeli forces.

The two commanders were identified as Nidal Hazem, a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement’s al-Quds Brigades and the commander of the Baha Force unit, and Youssef Shreim, a member of Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades.

A third individual identified as Omar Awadin and a fourth individual identified as Louay Khalil Al-Zaghair were killed amid the clashes as well and 23 others were wounded.

The IDF, Shin Bet and Border Police announced after the raid that they had assassinated Hazem and an additional member of the Islamic Jihad movement named Youssef Abu Ashrin.

According to the IDF, Hazem was involved in “significant terrorist activity” and Abu Ashrin was involved in producing explosives and firing at IDF soldiers, among other terrorist activity.

One of the other Palestinians killed was shot by Israeli forces after attacking the forces with a sledgehammer, according to the IDF. Israeli forces fired at a number of Palestinians who shot at them during the raid as well. No Israeli personnel were injured.

Hamas: Israeli crimes will not go unanswered

After the raid on Thursday, Hamas spokesman Abd al-Latif al-Qanou warned that “The crime of assassinating the heroes of the resistance in Jenin will not go unanswered, and our people and its resistance are capable of striking the occupation and making it pay the price for its crimes.”

“The Palestinian resistance in the West Bank will remain present and escalating, and no one will be able to stop its expansion or prevent it from responding to the crimes of the occupation.”

Israel and the Palestinian Authority are set to hold a meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday in an attempt to lower tensions ahead of the month of Ramadan which is set to begin in the middle of the week.

Late last month, Israel and the PA held talks to reduce tensions in Aqaba.

On Friday evening, a Palestinian identified as Yazan Omar Khasib was shot and killed after attempting to stab an IDF soldier near Beitin.

This is a developing story.

Hamas supports escalating resistance outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

UAE Pavilion advertises the 2023 conference in Dubai on the final day of the COP27 UN Climate Change Conference, held by UNFCCC in Sharm El-Sheikh International Convention Center [Dominika Zarzycka/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images]

Sharm El-Sheikh summit: Hamas supports escalating resistance against occupation

March 18, 2023 at 11:09 am | Published in: Asia & AmericasIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineUS

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas announced on Friday that it advocates escalating resistance against the Israeli occupation, which has intensified its crimes against Palestinians, Al-Resalah newspaper reported.

This came in press remarks delivered by senior Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzouq, who stressed that the Sharm El-Sheikh meeting plans to rein in Palestinian resistance.

Regarding European and US efforts to de-escalate Israeli violations against Palestinians, Abu Marzouq criticised: “The Europeans do not take practical measures to pressure the Israeli occupation to stop its crimes.”

He commented on the security coordination between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Israeli occupation: “The security coordination is based on passing information about the Palestinian resistance to the occupation. The Palestinian Authority should know that coordination with the Palestinians is more important than security coordination with the Israeli occupation.”

Abu Marzouq indicated that his movement supports hunger striker Khader Adnan, who has been under illegal administrative detention inside Israeli jails.

Regarding his visit to Moscow, Abu Marzouq said the two sides discussed the latest developments concerning Palestine and the Israeli occupation forces, as well as the escalating crimes of colonial settlers in the occupied West Bank under the cover of the extremist Israeli government.

Islamic Jihad, Hamas commanders killed in clashes outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

 IDF soldiers during a raid on Jenin. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

Islamic Jihad, Hamas commanders killed in clashes with Israeli forces in Jenin

The spokesmen of both terror groups called the killings a ‘crime’ and threatened to exact a price from Israel.


Published: MARCH 16, 2023 15:48

Updated: MARCH 16, 2023 17:34


IDF soldiers during a raid on Jenin.

Two commanders of local branches of the Islamic Jihad and Hamas terrorist groups were killed in clashes with Israeli forces in Jenin on Thursday.

The two killed were identified as Nidal Hazem, a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement’s al-Quds Brigades and the commander of the Baha Force unit, and Youssef Shreim, a member of Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades.

A third individual identified as Omar Awadin and a fourth individual were killed amid the clashes as well and 20 others were wounded.Top ArticlesRead More

 An IDF raid in Jenin, January 26, 2023. (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)An IDF raid in Jenin, January 26, 2023. (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)

Could the Saudi-Iranian deal lead to peace with Israel? – opinion

The IDF, Shin Bet and Border Police announced after the raid that they had assassinated Hazem and an additional member of the Islamic Jihad movement named Youssef Abu Ashrin. Abu Ashrin has not been reported as one of those killed in Palestinian reports and it is unclear if Youssef Shreim is the same individual.

According to the IDF, Hazem was involved in “significant terrorist activity” and Abu Ashrin was involved in producing explosives and firing at IDF soldiers, among other terrorist activities.

One of the other Palestinians killed was shot by Israeli forces after attacking the forces with a sledgehammer, according to the IDF. Israeli forces fired at a number of Palestinians who shot at them during the raid as well. No Israeli personnel were injured.

Footage from the scene showed two individuals seemingly shot by Israeli forces laying in the middle of a street.

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Hazem and Shreim were reportedly commanders in their respective terrorist groups. Hazem is also the nephew of Fathi Hazem, the father of the terrorist who carried out the Dizengoff shooting attack last year.

Hamas threatens to react

Hamas spokesman Abd al-Latif al-Qanou warned that “The crime of assassinating the heroes of the resistance in Jenin will not go unanswered, and our people and its resistance are capable of striking the occupation and making it pay the price for its crimes.”

“The Palestinian resistance in the West Bank will remain present and escalating, and no one will be able to stop its expansion or prevent it from responding to the crimes of the occupation.”

Islamic Jihad spokesman Tariq Ezz El-Din warned as well “the occupation bears full responsibility for the cowardly assassination crime carried out by Zionist special forces against the fighters and mujahideen of our Palestinian people in Jenin this evening and will pay the price for these crimes.”

“We say to this criminal occupier, do not rejoice in your act too much, for our martyrs are in heaven, and this is the name of our wishes, but you will regret a lot because our resistance will not spare the blood of our martyred leaders and will avenge them with all force.”

The governor of Jenin, Akram Rajoub, stressed that Israel “crossed all red lines” in the clashes on Thursday. “It is clear that the life of the Palestinian citizen for the Israeli government is worth nothing.”

The spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, claimed that the clash in Jenin aimed “to detonate the situation and drag the region into a square of tension and violence.”

The spokesman additionally claimed that the clashes show that Israel “is not at all interested in calming the situation and preventing its eruption, contrary to all international efforts seeking to prevent escalation in the holy month of Ramadan.”

Israel and the PA will hold a meeting in Egypt

The raid in Jenin comes as Israel and the Palestinian Authority reportedly are preparing to hold a meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh next week in an attempt to lower tensions ahead of the month of Ramadan which is set to begin in the middle of next week.

Late last month, Israel and the PA held talks to reduce tensions in Aqaba.

On Thursday, Azzam al-Ahmad, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, told Palestine TV that “it is not justified to hold another meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh, if Israel does not abide by what was signed and agreed upon.”

According to al-Ahmad, PA officials were holding meetings in Amman on Thursday to discuss the possibility of participating in the meeting at Sharm el-Sheikh.

On Thursday, a member of the Islamic Jihad movement’s political bureau, Muhammad al-Hindi, told Quds news that “The aim of the Sharm al-Sheikh meeting is to try to achieve the goal of the Aqaba meeting by activating the so-called security coordination between the Palestinian Authority and the enemy under direct American auspices in order to besiege and strike the Palestinian resistance and involve the authority in that, especially in Nablus and Jenin.”

Earlier this month, Khaled Mashaal, the head of Hamas’s foreign political bureau, warned that the region is “on the verge of heated days” of violence and that the situation will escalate during Ramadan.

“Things are going to escalate in Ramadan, and we are on the verge of hot days due to the continued aggression and crimes of the occupation, and the Palestinian people know that there is no recovery for the homeland except through resistance in all its forms,” said Mashaal.

Last week, Abdel Fattah Hussain Harusha, the terrorist who murdered Hallel and Yagel Yaniv in Huwara, was killed in a firefight with the IDF and the National Counter Terror Unit (YAMAM) in Jenin.

In total, six Palestinians died in that raid and 26 more were wounded, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Two YAMAM officers were lightly injured by Palestinian fire during the raid in Jenin.

Israeli forces kill three Palestinians outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israeli forces gather during a Palestinian protest demanding Israel to reopen closed roads leading to Nablus.
Israeli forces gather at the Huwara checkpoint near Nablus in the Israeli-occupied West Bank [File: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters]

Israeli forces kill three Palestinians in occupied West Bank

The Israeli army says ‘gunmen opened fire’ at an army position west of Nablus, with their soldiers responding with ‘live fire’.

Published On 12 Mar 202312 Mar 2023

The Israeli military says its forces shot and killed three Palestinian men who opened fire on soldiers in the occupied West Bank, the latest bloodshed in a year-long wave of violence in the region.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said the men were killed on Sunday by Israeli fire near the city of Nablus and identified them as Jihad Mohammed al-Shami, 24, Uday Othman al-Shami, 22 and Mohammed Raed Dabeek, 18.

The Israeli army said “gunmen opened fire” at an army position near the Jit junction west of Nablus, with the soldiers responding with “live fire”.

“Three armed gunmen were neutralised during the exchange of fire and an additional armed gunman surrendered himself to the forces,” the army said in a statement, noting that none of the Israeli soldiers was wounded.

The soldiers, members of the elite infantry Golani reconnaissance unit, confiscated three M-16 rifles and a pistol used by the Palestinians, the army said.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, an armed offshoot of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party, claimed the men who were killed as members.

Ongoing violence

Tensions between Israeli forces and settlers on one side and Palestinians on the other have escalated over the past year.

Israeli forces have arrested thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank and killed more than 200 Palestinians, civilians as well as fighters. More than 40 Israelis and foreign nationals have died in attacks by Palestinians over the same period.

On Friday, an Israeli settler shot dead a Palestinian man near an illegal settlement in the northern occupied West Bank.

A day before, a Hamas gunman opened fire in Tel Aviv, wounding three people, one of them critically, before being killed by police and passersby. The group said the attack was a response to an Israeli raid killing three Palestinian fighters in the West Bank earlier that day.

Israeli raids have become deadlier this year since a new far-right government came into power, empowering settler groups in the occupied West Bank, who recently rampaged through the town of Huwara in an attack that has been labelled a “pogrom”.

Israeli settlements, illegal under international law, house between 600,000 and 750,000 Israeli settlers across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, despite Palestinians seeking the land as part of a future state.

The United States defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, expressed concerns about Jewish settler violence against Palestinians while on a visit to Israel on Thursday.

In a joint news conference with his Israeli counterpart Yoav Galant, Austin said Washington’s commitment to Israel’s security was “iron-clad” but warned against acts that could trigger more insecurity.

Hamas strikes outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Hamas strikes in the heart of Israel; Three injured in Tel Aviv attack, Palestinians erupt in joy

World News

Published on Mar 10, 2023 11:00 AM ISTFollow Us

A Palestinian gunman opened fire on a busy street in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday night. Three people suffered injuries in the attack carried out by a member of the armed wing of the Palestinian group Hamas, Israeli police said. Hamas called the shooting a revenge attack for the Thursday morning operation of Israeli forces in the West Bank, in which three Palestinians were killed. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu termed the incident a “terror attack.’  Watch this video to know more. #israel #palestine #telavivattack #telaviv #attack #hamas #terrorattack #israelpm #benjaminnetanyahu #westbank #palestine #palestinians Hindustan Times Videos bring you news, views and explainers about current issues in India and across the globe. We’re always excited to report the news as quickly as possible, use new technological tools to reach you better and tell stories with a 360 degree view to give you a better understanding of the world around you

Rising Violence Outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Rising violence, growing political crisis in Israel strain U.S. support

Protests in Israel disrupt Defense Secretary Austin’s visit

Tens of thousands took to the streets in Tel Aviv to protest the Israeli government’s proposals to overhaul the legal system. The demonstrations came as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Austin stressed the importance of an “independent judiciary” during his visit.

For years, as Israeli politics marched steadily to the right, the growing backlash among its traditional supporters fueled concerns and warnings that the U.S. government may ultimately be forced to reconsider its role as Israel’s most important — and often most unflinching — ally.

Until now, they have remained just that: concerns and warnings. But, with Israel’s new government stocked with ultranationalists and stoking profound questions about the nation’s democratic future, there is a sense that this time may be different.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to weaken the Supreme Court has triggered nationwide protests and a growing constitutional crisis. An eruption of violence in the occupied West Bank — including near-daily Israeli raids, a rampage by Jewish settlers and attacks by Palestinian militants — has led the CIA director to warn that a third intifada could be imminent.

And the international community is aghast over the rise of some far-right figures, including one senior minister who recently called for Israel to “wipe out” a Palestinian village.

Israelis protest against the government's controversial judicial reform bill, in front of the residence of Justice Minister Yariv Levin, in Modiin (Gil Cohen-Magen / AFP - Getty Images)
Israelis protest against the government’s controversial judicial reform bill, in front of the residence of Justice Minister Yariv Levin, in Modiin (Gil Cohen-Magen / AFP – Getty Images)

For the Biden administration, which has echoed many of those concerns, the urgent question is whether they necessitate any change in policy toward a nation heavily reliant on assistance, military cooperation and international political support from Washington.

“The United States should back up our concerns with actions,” said Daniel Kurtzer, who was U.S. ambassador to Israel under President George W. Bush. In an interview, he said the U.S. should consider curbing bilateral programs — but not security aid — and supporting U.N. Security Council resolutions criticizing Israel that the U.S. has historically blocked.

“Maybe it’s time to send that kind of signal,” he said.

Last week Kurtzer, now at Princeton, joined nearly 150 other current and former ambassadors, rabbis and Jewish organization leaders who signed a letter opposing a planned U.S. visit this week by Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who has referred to himself as a “proud homophobe” and a “fascist.” Others have called on the Biden administration to deny Smotrich a visa.

The State Department has called Smotrich’s comments about erasing the Palestinian village of Hawara “disgusting and repugnant.” Although the U.S. hasn’t addressed his status, citing confidentiality, a spokesperson for Smotrich told Israeli media on Thursday that he had been granted a diplomatic visa to enter the country.

However, the Biden administration appears to be boycotting the visit; a National Security Council official told NBC News that no U.S. government officials planned to meet with him.

Already, the rise of the Israeli far-right has shifted the political dynamics in the U.S., with criticism of Israel that was once limited to the most left-leaning Democrats and human rights groups now increasingly common among moderate Democrats and mainstream American Jewish organizations.

In Congress this week, more than 90 Democratic lawmakers led by Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, sent President Joe Biden a letter urging him to use “all diplomatic tools available to prevent Israel’s current government from further damaging the nation’s democratic institutions and undermining the potential for two states for two peoples.”

And late last year, a group of more than 300 rabbis published an open letter declaring that members of Netanyahu’s governing coalition were not welcome to speak at their synagogues.

“It’s a different moment, in terms of the potential damage that would be done should the policies that key figures in this new coalition have called for be implemented,” Rabbi David Saperstein, former U.S. ambassador at large for international religious freedom, said in an interview. “Those changes would significantly damage the democratic character of Israel.”

Especially problematic for the Biden administration is the Israeli government’s retreat from even rhetorical support for a two-state solution and eventual Palestinian statehood, which for decades has allowed the U.S. to defend Israel and to overlook its occupation of the West Bank by regarding it as temporary and best resolved through negotiations.

In a stark example of how Israel’s multiple crises are already creating headaches for the U.S., Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin this week was forced to cut his Israel trip short and relocate meetings as mass protests against the judicial reforms threatened to obstruct his safe passage into Tel Aviv.

When he did meet with his Israeli counterpart, at a site near the airport, Austin made a passing reference to the importance of an “independent judiciary” and “the need to de-escalate” West Bank violence, but made clear the U.S. government had no intention of reducing its commitment to Israel’s security.

“It will not change. It is not negotiable,” Austin said.

Image: (Ohad Zwigenberg / AP)
Image: (Ohad Zwigenberg / AP)

So far, there are no indications the Biden administration intends any substantive shift in its relationship with Israel’s government, beyond more frequent public calls for de-escalation in the West Bank and gentle reminders about the importance of democratic institutions.

Even if the U.S. did opt for a change in policy, it’s unclear whether it could force Israel to change course.

A former senior Israeli government official said the emergence of a major threat to the country’s democracy was a “big dilemma” for its closest ally. But the official said any U.S. efforts to condition elements of the relationship would likely be fruitless because Netanyahu, under the delicate coalition he formed with far-right parties to secure a return to power, is now beholden to them.

“It’s quite pointless at this moment,” the former official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to criticize the current prime minister. “His own members of his coalition are escalating the situation. He’s not managing to control the members of the coalition.”

Any U.S. move to reduce or leverage support for Israel would undoubtedly trigger fierce blowback from nearly all Republicans and many Democrats, not to mention Orthodox Jewish and evangelical groups in the U.S. that have been more supportive of Netanyahu’s approach.

The U.S. could seek to impose conditions on the billions of dollars of annual assistance to Israel, most of it military. Yet conditioning aid to Israel has generally been considered a third rail in U.S. foreign policy, and even many lawmakers now speaking out against Israel’s rightward shift oppose that step.

U.S. support for — or at least refusal to block — resolutions calling out Israel on the world stage could be one option to signal a shift in policy, as Kurtzer suggested.

For Israel’s government, perhaps the most alarming shift so far in response to the proposed judicial reforms has been economic, potentially jeopardizing its status as a Mideast economic powerhouse that punches above its weight.

Last week former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a self-avowed Israel supporter, said some businesspeople were already pulling their money out of the country or reconsidering whether to invest.

“As the owner of a global company, I don’t blame them,” Bloomberg wrote in a New York Times op-ed under the headline “Israel Is Courting Disaster.”

Those concerns have already sent the shekel plummeting to the lowest level in years. U.S. financial services firm JPMorgan, in an internal research memo first disclosed by Israeli media and obtained by NBC News, warned the increased risk stemming from the judicial plan could negatively affect Israel’s credit rating.

Another potentially explosive flashpoint is looming over opposition to the judicial plan from elite members of Israel’s military, including more than three dozen reservist fighter pilots who’ve announce they’d boycott a planned training, voicing concern about serving a “dictatorial regime.”

Some reservists have raised concerns that, if Israel undermines its democratic institutions, troops could be vulnerable to war crimes or other allegations in global venues like the International Criminal Court. The fact that Israel has an independent court system to appropriately handle such allegations has been a key Israeli defense in the past.

Dan Shapiro, U.S. ambassador to Israel in the Obama administration and now a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council, said there could be further challenges for U.S. security cooperation if the situation devolves into a full-blown constitutional crisis, with Israel’s parliament and Supreme Court both claiming to have overruled the other.

“If that happens, those in uniform will have to decide whose order to follow. They may not all decide the same way,” Shapiro said. “In that scenario, U.S. officers may not know who to coordinate with.”

Any dramatic shift from the U.S. remains unlikely under Biden, said the former senior Israeli official, pointing to the 80-year-old president’s close friendship with Israel forged over decades as U.S. senator and then vice president. But younger Democratic lawmakers have been much quicker to say U.S. cooperation with Israel isn’t guaranteed.

“Few of these kinds of friends of Israel exists anymore,” the former official said. “The biggest cause of concern should be the next generation of leaders.”

This article was originally published on

Israeli forces kill three Islamic Jihad gunmen outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

People look at a damaged car where three Palestinian militants were killed during an Israeli operation, near Jenin

Israeli forces kill three Islamic Jihad gunmen in West Bank

By Ali Sawafta

[1/4] People look at a damaged car where three Palestinian militants were killed during an Israeli operation, near Jenin, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, March 9, 2023. REUTERS/Raneen SawaftaRead more1234

  • Summary
  • Israel says militants suspected of carrying out attacks
  • Masked gunman in Jaba says raids will not deter them
  • Incident comes as U.S. secretary of defense visits Israel

JABA, West Bank, March 9 (Reuters) – Israeli forces raided a Palestinian village close to the West Bank city of Jenin on Thursday, killing three Islamic Jihad militants they said were suspected of carrying out shooting attacks in the area.

Islamic Jihad claimed the three fighters, who the Israeli military said were suspected of multiple shooting attacks in Jaba village, southwest of Jenin, as well as in the area of Homesh, a nearby settlement outpost that was evacuated in 2005 and is now home to a religious school.

The incident came on the same day U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was visiting Israel, where he was expected to discuss the growing violence on the West Bank.

In Jaba, residents said they heard intense gunfire early in the morning and saw a large Israeli force in the village, where the blood-spattered wreckage of the car in which the gunmen were killed remained in the street.

A Israeli statement said the gunmen had opened fire from their car when Israeli forces entered the area. It said two members of Islamic Jihad were killed as well as what it described as an additional armed suspect.

Jaba, where two Islamic Jihad gunmen were killed in January, has a large presence of armed militants from different factions and as mourners assembled for the funeral of the three killed on Thursday, fighters said the raids would not deter them.

“Day after day, more men from Jaba and neighbouring villages join us,” said one masked gunman, as dozens of others militants prepared to take part in the funeral marches.

Thousands of mourners, some carrying Palestinian flags and the banners of the main factions, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah and chanting for revenge, joined the funeral of the three, as gunmen fired into the air.

Police seized two rifles and another gun as well as explosive devices and arrested three other suspects. According to Noaman Khalileya, owner of a local garage near to where the incident took place, security forces also confiscated his security camera and erased pictures on his mobile telephone.

The operation came days after Israeli forces raided a refugee camp in Jenin and killed six Palestinian gunmen, including a Hamas member suspected of killing two brothers from a Jewish settlement near the Palestinian village of Huwara in the West Bank on Feb. 26.

The Palestinian health ministry said a 14-year-old boy, wounded during the gunbattle that broke out in Jenin during the Israeli raid, had died of his wounds.

In a statement to Voice of Palestine radio, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, accused Israel of launching a “full-scale war” against the Palestinians.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) announced that it had suspended its security cooperation agreement with Israel in January, following a raid in Jenin that killed nine Palestinians, but the raids have put it under growing pressure.

The Islamist group Hamas, which controls the blockaded Gaza Strip but which also has fighters across the West Bank, said PA security forces arrested several members of the group overnight in the West Bank city of Nablus after they took part in the funeral march of the Huwara gunman a day earlier.

“Such a behaviour serves the Zionist occupation only,” it said in a statement.

Israeli forces have conducted near daily raids across the West Bank for months after a spate of deadly attacks by Palestinians in Israel last year. They have made thousands of arrests and killed more than 200 Palestinians, including both fighters and civilians. Over the same period, more than 40 Israelis have been killed in attacks by Palestinians.

Six Palestinians killed in Israeli raid outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Palestinians clash with Israeli military forces during an Israeli operation in Jenin on Monday.

Six Palestinians, including suspected Hamas gunman, killed in Israeli raid

By Abeer Salman, Richard Allen Greene and Ibrahim Dahman, CNN

Updated 3:41 PM EST, Tue March 7, 2023

Palestinians clash with Israeli military forces during an Israeli operation in Jenin on Monday.Ayman Nobani/Picture Alliance/Getty ImagesJerusalem and GazaCNN — 

Israeli forces staged a daylight raid into Jenin in the occupied West Bank targeting the suspect in the killing of two Jewish settlers, leaving the suspect and at least five other Palestinian men dead, officials on both sides said Tuesday.

The violence marks the latest round in what has become a brutal cycle of Israeli raids against suspected Palestinian militants, Palestinian revenge attacks on Israelis, and Israeli settler targeting of Palestinians.

The Israel Defense Forces named the suspect as Abdul-Fattah Hussein Kharousha, 49, and described him as a “Hamas terrorist operative.”

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Hamas claimed Kharousha as a member, saying he had killed two Israeli settlers in the town of Huwara in late February. It also hailed the other five men killed as “fighter martyrs,” but did not say they were members of the group.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said at least 11 others were injured in the raid.

IDF forces carried out a separate raid in the West Bank city of Nablus at the same time to arrest two sons of Kharousha, they said. They are “suspected of aiding and planning in the terror attack,” the military said, adding that they are in custody for questioning.

The raid is at least the third to take place in daylight this year. The previous two – one in Jenin and one in Nablus – each resulted in 11 Palestinian fatalities, including militants being targeted by the Israel Defense Forces, people clashing with the Israeli forces, and bystanders.

People gather along a road during an Israeli military raid in the Jenin camp for Palestinian refugees in the West Bank on Tuesday.

People gather along a road during an Israeli military raid in the Jenin camp for Palestinian refugees in the West Bank on Tuesday.Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP/Getty Images

Jewish settler brothers Hillel Yaniv, 21 and Yagel Yaniv, 19, were shot dead as they drove through Huwara in the West Bank on February 26. They lived in the nearby Israeli settlement of Har Bracha.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the operation had “eliminated the abhorrent terrorist who murdered the two wonderful brothers, Hillel and Yigal Yaniv, in cold blood.”

Netanyahu finished a brief video statement by adding: “As I have said repeatedly: Whoever harms us will pay the price.”

Three members of Israel’s National Counter Terror Unit were wounded in the raid, the Rambam medical center in Haifa.

During the raid in Jenin refugee camp, IDF forces surrounded Kharousha’s house, came under fire, and responded with shoulder-fired missiles, an IDF official told CNN. The official asked not to be named briefing CNN on information which had not yet been released publicly.

Netanyahu returned to office at the end of what was one of the deadliest years for both Israelis and Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in years. The cycle of violence has only picked up speed.

Following the death of the Yaniv brothers in late February, dozens of settlers went on a rampage in Huwara, just south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, that one of Israel’s top military generals later called a “pogrom.” It lead to the death of one Palestinian man and other injuries.

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Violence in the West Bank is a nightmare for Netanyahu

Amos Harel Monday, March 6, 2023

In late February, a delegation of British security officials, led by MI6 chief Richard Moore, held a rare visit to the city of Ramallah in the West Bank. Moore met with 87-year-old Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, presumably to discuss how the United Kingdom could further assist the Palestinians to improve the security situation in the West Bank. Like their American counterparts, the British are heavily invested in the survival of the Abbas regime. A small group of British advisors is currently staying in Ramallah to help the PA’s security forces increase their effectiveness. A larger group of American experts, led by Lt. Gen. Michael Fenzel, has recently focused on trying to persuade Abbas to resume the PA’s security activity in two northern West Bank cities, Jenin and Nablus, where a series of recent lethal incidents with the Israelis have occurred. Despite all this outside help, it will be difficult for the embattled Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to restore calm to the West Bank.

In 2006, after the second intifada gradually died down, the Americans were quite successful in helping the PA regain its police and intelligence capabilities in the West Bank. Abbas was criticized at the time for essentially becoming Israel’s security subcontractor in the West Bank, but it seemed that from his perspective, this situation easily beat the other alternatives. The Ramallah leadership was in a state of panic after Hamas managed to take control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 within six days, killing some Fatah members and deporting others (Hamas had won the 2006 elections, and it feared, with some justification, that Fatah was trying to engineer a coup). Abbas and his men were willing to cooperate with the Israeli security services in order to prevent more terrorist attacks by Hamas against Israeli targets, as long as Israel continued to supply them with information regarding Hamas’s plans for a military coup in the West Bank and other threats to Abbas’ leadership.

In 2014, Israel discovered what it described as a huge Hamas conspiracy meant to violently overthrow the Abbas regime. Yoram Cohen, then the Shin Bet (Israel’s internal security services) chief at the time, met with Abbas in Ramallah and showed him transcripts of investigations of Hamas members, arrested by the Israelis. When Abbas learned of those plans by the enemy from within, he was appalled. A few weeks later, war broke out between Israel and Hamas in Gaza (Operation Pillar of Defense). That meeting with Cohen was one of the main reasons why Abbas chose to stay on the sidelines during the military conflict. The president continued, however, to attack Israel publicly.

Yet, almost nine years later, it seems the West Bank has once again reached a boiling point. It is perhaps too soon to talk of a third intifada. There were many false alarms during the last few years when periods of violence were prematurely described as new uprisings and then suddenly died down. But the situation has seriously deteriorated recently. A period of increased terror attacks began in March 2022 and continued ever since. Since the beginning of this year, more than 60 Palestinians and 14 Israelis died in incidents in Jerusalem and the West Bank. The tension comes at a time of particular weakness for the Abbas regime. Though lucid, the Palestinian president has slowed down his schedule and seems to be less intent on a dialogue with his citizens, who haven’t voted in a general election since 2006. The battle for Abbas’ succession has, in fact, already begun. So much so that last month, Le-Figaro newspaper reported that French President Emmanuel Macron has appointed a team of 15 members to advise him on the identity of Abbas’s successor. The Palestinians, naturally, were furious.

According to public opinion polls held by Palestinian scholar Professor Khalil Shikaki, the PA has hardly been so unpopular among West Bank residents. If, in previous decades, the West Bankers could at least tell themselves that their brethren in Gaza suffered much more economically, then this is slightly less relevant today. Last year, the previous Israeli government decided to allow 17,000 Gazans to work in Israel. A Palestinian worker in Israel could earn many times more than the salary in Gaza for an equivalent job. The Hamas regime, in return for maintaining relative calm in Gaza, is now perhaps as wealthy as it ever was. It is also considered, among a distinct majority of Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank, less corrupt than its competition in Ramallah — admittedly a low bar.

The crisis in the West Bank has coincided with an unprecedented political and constitutional crisis in Jerusalem. Netanyahu, reinstated as prime minister last December, is quickly losing control of events. Netanyahu’s main concern, of course, is to avoid jail time — a rather realistic result waiting for him as he has been standing trial for three different cases of corruption at the Jerusalem District Court since May 2021. To avoid that punishment, Netanyahu is willing to fight by any means necessary. This is the background for his so-called legal reform, which is in truth an attempt to drastically change the judiciary, deeply damaging Israeli democracy along the way.

In order to achieve this, Netanyahu has been willing to engage with some strange bedfellows. The most notable of them are two far-right politicians, Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich. Ben-Gvir, originally a follower of racist U.S.-born Rabbi Meir Kahane, has always been considered a political lightweight, a professional extremist troll. Suddenly, he is the man in charge of the police, as a minister for national security. Smotrich, slightly less extreme in his views and much more sophisticated, is both the minister of finance and a second minister in the Ministry of Defense, awarded unprecedented authority over civilian matters in the West Bank, in spite of the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) serious warnings against such a move. He has already announced that he intends to change the West Bank map by adding more settlements and outposts. His “Plan for Decisive Victory” against the Palestinians, published in 2017 when he was a relatively new minister, makes for a frightening read. Smotrich not only preaches the destruction of the PA, but one gets the notion that if another war breaks and, say, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians lose their homes, he would not shed a tear.

The Biden administration, which is perfectly aware of all this, called a rare conference in the Jordanian city of Aqaba on February 26, looking for ways to increase stability in the region. But while officials from Israel, the PA, the United States, Egypt, and Jordan were discussing confidence-building measures there, terror struck again. Two young men, brothers from an Israeli settlement near Nablus, were gunned down and killed in a nearby Palestinian village as they were driving to their yeshiva (religious school). The search for the killer continues. In response, hundreds of settlers rampaged through the village of Hawara (a pogrom, as one senior IDF officer described it). Dozens of houses, stores, and cars were torched; one Palestinian villager died, as the Israeli army and police mostly watched idly.

That was the moment the Aqaba conference failed. To make matters even worse, both Smotrich and Ben-Gvir publicly attacked their boss, Netanyahu, for even sending a delegation to Jordan and accepting unnecessary American demands to slow down settlement construction. Smotrich went one dangerous step further and announced that Hawara should have been wiped off the face of the Earth by the Israeli army, earning himself a direct condemnation from the U.S. State Department.

Netanyahu is now facing what may be an assembling perfect storm, combining economic unrest, huge protests against his reforms, and growing international criticism. Yet his greatest problem currently may lie in the West Bank. If the lethal attacks against settlers continue, Ben-Gvir will find it hard to remain in the government while his demands for tougher action against Palestinians are not met by Netanyahu, who fears a direct confrontation with the White House. For the Israeli leader, things are bad enough as they are — U.S. President Joe Biden has yet to invite him to Washington since his election victory last November. However, there is currently no coalition without Ben-Gvir. At the most critical point in his political career, Netanyahu is stuck in a deadlock. So far, it seems that the man often described by the Israeli media as a political magician hasn’t figured a way out.